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Let's say, I have the discipline of Potence on level 3. I have 3 automatic successes (I either spent blood or have them by default, depending on the edition). I roll Strength 4 against the difficulty of 6. Then...

1) I roll 1, 1, 1, 5, a botch. Does it count as a botch even though I have automatic successes? Or do I lose autosuccesses and convert it into a simple Fail?

2) I roll 1, 1, 5, 5. Do I lose 2 successes and hit with 1 left, or do I have all 3 intact?

Etc. I think, at least V20 Corebook does not address this.

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Automatic Successes on Rolls

Automatic successes are added after a roll is completed. If a roll results in a botch, it is ignored, and and the roll result is the number of automatic successes. You can never have a result lower than the number of your automatic successes.

Automatic Successes from Dice Pools

Page 250-251 of the English edition of V20 describes automatic successes to tests that do not require a roll. In fact, making a roll when you have more die than the target number negates the automatic success gained this way. It is impossible to botch with an automatic success gained this way, since you are not allowed to role to take advantage of this rule.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Any proof that what you have written applies to Potence and similar things? \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jul 15 '16 at 10:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy WoD rules are not built with many exceptions. \$\endgroup\$ – Tritium21 Jul 15 '16 at 10:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tritium21 Source for first half of the answer? I can't find it in V20 (which doesn't mean it isn't there). \$\endgroup\$ – Reibello Jul 16 '16 at 3:45
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Reibello Sadly, a 5 year old argument on the old White Wolf forums which got an answer by Mr. Achilli. Sadly those forums are long gone, but this is how WoD has worked for decades. \$\endgroup\$ – Tritium21 Jul 16 '16 at 3:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Baskakov_Dmitriy You have just discovered why it was changed back to that. It was incredibly broken in Revised. \$\endgroup\$ – Tritium21 Jul 16 '16 at 4:52
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On page 250 of the rulebook (under the Botches section):

If you score at least one success, even if that success is cancelled out and additional 1s remain, it's just a simple failure.

Under the Spending Willpower section (p. 267-268):

A player may spend one of her character's Willpower points to gain an automatic success on a single action. Only one point of Willpower may be used in a single turn in this manner, but the success is guaranteed and may not be cancelled, even by botches.

Under Potence (p 192):

Each dot that the vampire has in Potence adds one die to all Strength-related dice rolls. Further, the player can spend one blood point and change his Potence dice into an equal number of automatic successes to all Strength-related rolls for the turn.

Another mention of Automatic Successes in the rulebook might help us find our solution:

The True Love Merit (p. 493-494):

This Merit grants you one automatic success on all Willpower rolls, which can be negated only by a botch die.

This particular variety of automatic success specifies how it may be cancelled. We know now that Willpower-fueled automatic successes may not be cancelled and that True Love-fueled automatic successes may be, but only in one way. To me, this suggests that the automatic successes from Potence may be cancelled out.

From here, we only need to figure out if these dice would also prevent botches from occurring. Back to page 250.

If none of your dice comes up a success, and one or more dice are dice showing 1, the roll is a botch. If you score at least one success, even if that success is canceled out and additional 1s remain, it’s just a simple failure.

We now need to decide which sentence is more important. The bolded sentence implies that automatic successes cannot prevent a botch, but the italicized sentence's wording implies that they would instead result in a failure. Based on the wording in True Love, that states that automatic successes can be cancelled by botches, I would argue that the italicized sentence is the more important one, and that because so few effects provide automatic successes, that they were not accounted for in this section.

This would make your first example a failure, as the three 1s would cancel out your Potence dice. The second example would then be a success of one.

tl;dr: Automatic successes function as normal successes in a botch, except when otherwise specified.

Hope this helps!

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, thank you. I will assume that if you have automatical successes, you are exempt from botches and fails automatically like if spending Willpower, as both Potence and Projectile (level 6 power of Celerity that you forgot to mention :3) cost blood. So if you dont't roll at least more successes than "1"s, result of the action solely depends on the automatic successes. However, as Willpower is way more valuable than blood points, to balance things out, one could also make automatical successes of Projectile and Potence be cancelable by 1s rolled, but still provide 100% immunity to botches. \$\endgroup\$ – Baskakov_Dmitriy Jul 15 '16 at 21:27

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